A number of you have asked where the various CHEERS writers are these days and what they’ve been up to since the show’s run ended in 1993. The short answer is we were all hot for ten minutes, all got studio development deals, created a bunch of series (a few you’ve heard of, most you haven’t), branched out into different areas, and get together with each other to bitch about the current state of the industry.
Specifically, as far as I know….
Glen & Les Charles have moved out of LA and are living the good life. They’ve dabbled some in features and wrote PUSHING TIN starring Jon Cusak and Angelina Jolie. I saw them recently accepting an award on TV LAND and they both looked great.
Peter Casey & David Lee went on to create and run WINGS and FRASIER. David is currently a very sought after theatre director. Peter is working on a feature project with me and my partner, David Isaacs.
David Angell partnered with Casey & Lee, co-creating WINGS and FRASIER. Tragically, David and his wife Lynn were in the first plane that hit the World Trade Center on 9/11.
David Lloyd consulted on WINGS and FRASIER and wrote some of the best episodes of each, just as he had done on CHEERS, TAXI, and THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW. David is traveling and probably gets residual checks in the mail every other day.
(NOTE: Back then every show had at least four Davids on staff. Things have changed. Today it’s four Matts.)
Heide Perlman joined James L. Brooks’ production company, created the ABC series SIBS, and has since worked on a number of series including FRASIER.
Cheri & Bill Steinkellner – With Phoef Sutton created BOB starring Bob Newhart then by themselves created HOPE & GLORIA, the Emmy winning animated show TEACHER’S PET (starring Nathan Lane) and wrote the screenplay for the movie of TEACHER’S PET (which got sensational reviews and deserved a better fate). Currently they are doing the book for two Broadway bound musicals including SISTER ACT which premiers later this year at the Pasadena Playhouse.
Phoef Sutton (pronounced “Feef”) teamed with the Steinkellners on BOB then on his own created a number of series including THE FIGHTING FITZGERALDS with Brian Denahy and a very interesting short-lived sitcom for CBS called THANKS set in pilgrim times. He also has quite a few screenwriting credits including MRS. WINTERBOURNE and THE FAN starring Robert DeNiro. In his spare time he wrote a published novel. Currently he is producing BOSTON LEGAL and wrote and directed a short film starring Joe Montagne that is winning festival awards left and right. I’m sure someday he’ll get around to sonnets.
Tom Reeder consulted on a number of series including THE COSBY SHOW and FRASIER. He lives at the beach and is too happy as far as I’m concerned.
Dan O’Shannon created several short-lived series (including a very interesting one about a married woman contemplating an affair) then became the show runner on FRASIER. Ever versatile, Dan was a producer last season on the Sci-Fi hour show THRESHOLD for CBS.
Tom Anderson – created LIVING SINGLE and is living in Cleveland. I’d rather be Tom Reeder.
Earl Pomerantz produced the first year of COSBY, created TV’s only multi-camera sitcom Western, BEST OF THE WEST, MAJOR DAD, and an ABC series about his own life. He also guested on BUFFALO BILL as the “Human Salmon”. Recently he consulted on ACCORDING TO JIM, and currently writes magazine articles, and is a commentator for NPR.
Sam Simon co-created THE SIMPSONS. He too has a bunch of credits but shit, he co-created THE SIMPSONS. Who cares about the others?
Ken Estin co-created the TRACEY ULLMAN SHOW, the TORTELLIS (spin off of CHEERS), produced ALMOST PERFECT with David Isaacs and I, and currently has several TV and feature projects in the works.
Rob Long & Dan Staley – created the obligatory number of short-lived series including GEORGE & LEO starring Bob Newhart and Judd Hirsch. (I’m the only former CHEERS writer who did not create a show for Bob Newhart). They worked with David and I on BIG WAVE DAVE’S. (We tried to get Bob Newhart but settled for Jane Kaczmarek.) Rob wrote a hilarious book on the TV industry called CONVERSATIONS WITH MY AGENT. In addition to his work with Dan he also contributes political articles to magazines and newspapers, does weekly humorous commentaries for Public Radio’s KCRW called “Martini Shot”. He’s the funniest Republican in the country.
Kathy Ann Stumpe – went on to produce EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND and write quite a few episodes. She too likes to go to her mailbox.
Janet Leahy is currently the show runner of BOSTON LEGAL. Whenever there’s an article about the top women writers in television she’s always included.
Let’s see, who else? Oh yeah, Fred Graver became the President of VH-1.